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THE ROCK FATHER: THE POP CULTURE MAGAZINE FOR FAMILIES THAT ROCK.

First Garden Post of the Season: New Offerings from Toro Fuel the Desire for Warmth and Green Grass...

It is 1° as I sit in my office typing this right now. For those of you that don't live in a cold weather climate, I'll explain that it's right about this time every year when we in Northern Illinois have just about had it with the cold and start looking forward to warmer weather. Here at Rock Father HQ, working in the yard is something we look forward to, and this year in particular I can't wait to have the snow melted and get out there. As I throw open the virtual doors of my Gardening section here on THE ROCK FATHER for 2015, my first entry for the season ahead is a little news from the folks at Toro, who sent over the details on two new models of mowers that will soon be rocking neighborhoods Nationwide - the Toro Recycler All-Wheel Drive, and customizable TimeCutter Zero-Turn. Let's take a peek...

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The #FallFixUp of Rock Father HQ: Slashing. Trashing. Packing. Refreshing.

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Weave Made Media® and Rubbermaid. All opinions are that of James Zahn aka THE ROCK FATHER. #weavemade #FallFixUp  http://my-disclosur.es/RgFrEH

Having not lived anywhere but the Midwest on any year-round kind of basis, I can't be certain but tend to think that Fall fix-up and Spring clean-up are two things that have a parallel relationship only for those who live in regions that go through a proper four-season cycle. In the Fall you get the place all cleaned-up before winter, and then after the snow melts, you've got a whole load of surprises to clean-up in the Spring. But I love it. It's a chance to refresh things, and I'm ahead in the game this season.

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Two New Books for Garden and Landscape Inspiration from Schiffer Publishing...

If you're like me, you're always looking for, and absorbing inspiration of garden and landscape projects, filing-away a nearly infinite potential "to-do" list, while staying current on all the latest ideas and trends. The only limits: time, money and space. But one can certainly explore the possibilities, and with that in mind, the folks from Schiffer Publishing sent over the details on two new books for garden and landscape inspiration. Personally, I'm digging the idea of training fruit trees as noted in the first title...

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Gardening for Kids: Fall Bulb Planting for Spring Blooms Part II - The Reveal!

Longfield GardensAs the old saying goes, "good things come to those who wait." Sometimes, it's like a movie - where STAR WARS (good) opens the door for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (great). The sequel trumps the earlier entry, and right now we're experiencing a similar phenomena here at Rock Father HQ in that I'm typing these virtual words to appear on your computer screen as the sequel to an entry that was posted over six months ago. Or was that entry a prequel to this post? Regardless, when it comes to gardening, patience is key - and when gardening with kids, a big payoff can make a huge impact in showing them that yes, we've grown something. Last Fall, Addie and I planted 200 bulbs that our friends at Longfield Gardens sent over, and today I can show you the end result!

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5 Crazy Tools for Garden and Grilling: Tactical Grilling? Zombies in the Garden? No Problem...

Memorial Day is coming. Father's Day is looming. With outdoor activities about to ramp-up, families will be hitting the yard and the deck for some gardening and grilling, and for those looking for something a little bit... different, here's a selection of five crazy items that you won't find at the local "Big Box" (sorry Walmart & Target), but you will find over at ThinkGeek...

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Gardening: Planting BrazelBerries at Rock Father HQ, and the 4 Ps of Growing Blueberries...

This year, we're trying some new things here in the Gardens of Rock Father HQ.  This being our fifth full season here at the homestead, I'm always on the lookout for things we can do differently, plants we've never tried, and some general fun and learning adventures that the girls and I can share in together. One from this past week involves some edibles - specifically Raspberries and Blueberries, neither of which have ever been grown here in the past. The folks at Fall Creek Farm & Nursery in Oregon shipped us a few varieties from their BrazelBerries collection to try out - varieties that should do well here in Northern Illinois.

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